In Memory

Nathaniel I Woodyard

Nathaniel I Woodyard

Mr. Nathaniel I. Woodyard, 51, died Wednesday, Sept. 14, 1994, in his residence after a short illness. 

He was born May 2, 1943, in Port Huron, a son of the late Upton and Melvina Woodyard and had been a lifelong area resident.

He was a former Detroit Edison employee.

He is survived by five daughters, Carla, Krissi, Lori, Lisa and LaKasha; eight grandchildren; two sisters, Virginia (Arthur) McMillan of Port Huron and Cheryl (Charles) Waddell of Atlanta, Ga,; brothers Leonard (Charlene) Woodyard of Port Huron, Upton (Arlene) Woodyard and Robert Woodyard of California; aunt and uncle, Lucille and Fred Pippens of Port Huron; friend, Angela Brown of Port Huron; several nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

A memorial service was held at Jowett Funeral Home with Elder John Tate of Zion Tabernacle Church officiating. 

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09/06/09 10:52 AM #1    

Milton W Bush

Nate: August 1994.

Nate and I worked for Jack Payton, summer 1961. Payton Motors, 1010 Military Street. Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge, Imperial, and 50 used cars across the street. We and one other, were the gas station grease monkeys: pumping gas, oil changes, prepping new cars and fetching things. Nate also had the job of mowing Jack's lawn every Friday. Adjacent to us was the Greyhound Bus Station cubicle. John Dohn's Mom, Marie, was the sales agent there. She brought us cookies every few days. We got her a cold Coke every afternoon.

Nathaniel has a very old maroon Mercury convertible, which he much cherished. It was on its last legs. Hard to start; virtually no brakes; and 5 percent of a muffler left. I drove it once and that was scary. On Fridays, he went to Powers and brought back six little burgers. The other worker usually brought back a dozen - sort of piggish. I had a salami sandwich and an apple, as usual.

He was quite a good runner in high school and a good student. He was a power plant operator for Detroit Edison, St, Clair. The plant first got coal from Ohio in 50 car strings. Around 1968, the coal came from Montana and northern Wyoming. Burlington Northern had 50 unit trains running all the time. 100 car strings. Near Duluth, they would get flipped over and load up the huge black ships. Two days to the Soo and two days to Port Huron.

In the last seventies, his girl friend called me. She was upset - out on bail. She had taken Nate's car to the Sarnia Farmer's Market - a famous place where everyone went during outdoor weather. At U.S. Customs, the agent opened the glove compartment, and out popped a loaded pistol. They put the cuffs on her and dragged her off to the slammer. She said she had never opened the compartment and knew nothing about any guns. The cop said she would get five years for CCW. Ouch. I got the prosecutor to look up Nate's gun permit; all in good order. Then, I asked for prints on the gun: all Nate's. And I murmured something about false arrest and Federal Court, and lack of proper officer training at the Bridge. About 10 days later, the warrant was withdrawn and the record expunged. The pistol was returned months later. Nate said the weapon was there when he worked the afternoon or night shift I think he lived on 16th street, sort of on the edge of the nice and the not so nice. Places on 24th street had kept the cops busy for a few decades. Even the prosecutor, Pete Deegan, said he would not go there at night without firepower. That always bothered his wife, Barbara.

I hope some other friends will help fill in his story.

Milt Bush

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